Friday, October 30, 2009

Mid-Day Devotion 10/30/09

Why are you downcast, O my soul?
Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God,
for I will yet praise him,
my Savior and my God.
Psalm 43:5

How often in our lives do we find ourselves cast into the pits of despair, as hopelessness seems to be all around us, as we find that as much as try to find peace and comfort, as much as we try to find happiness, all we can find is darkness surrounding us? We come to a simple truth, to a simple reality, that seems to encompass our beings and to show its face in our lives: there is a captivity and a bondage that exists amidst this world. There is a darkness that seems to almost overtake it as chaos seems all around us. We wander and we drift and we find ourselves lost, wondering if there couldn’t be something more for us, something better for us, and yet finding that it’s elusive in our lives. There is a stumbling block that is placed there, it is placed there by the power of the Devil. For you see, the Devil can’t just let us abide in peace, he can’t just let us abide in comfort, he can’t just let us find ourselves in happiness. No, for when we do, we open our hearts and our minds, we open our spirits and our souls to the Lord, and we find that it is simple, it is easy to abide there in faith, for we don’t question where God could be in all of this. But when the Devil can take root in our spirit, when he can take root in our souls, he can cast us down as he cast Job down before us. He can make us question, he make us ask amidst our lives, where is God in all of this, where is the Lord in all of this? And there he knows he has us chained in his bondage, he knows he has us chained amidst his power, as he brings us to a slavery, a slavery of the spirit that burdens our souls and that seeks to break our hearts, that seeks to leave amidst the pits of sorrow and anguish, agony and suffering, torment and torture. And we know nothing then, nothing except the pain that we feel amidst all of it.

Yet as we find ourselves amidst this, as we find ourselves living within this, we come to a basic and fundamental truth, a basic and fundamental truth that has been spoken unto us by the Psalmist and it’s been repeated throughout his works over and over again. “Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.” We read again and now “What Lord wait I for, my hope is in thee,” and again “In thee Lord will I hope, thou will hear, O my God, let thy mercy upon us, O God, according as we hope in thee.” The reoccurring theme, the constant theme, the ever vigilant word of the Lord in our lives testifying to our souls and to our spirits and our beings, is that God is a God of hope, and that amidst this hope comes a deliverance, for He is the help of our countenance. We shall praise Him for despite the captivity that this world may have in store, whether it is a captivity of the body or a captivity of the soul, whether it is a captivity that we know in our flesh or a captivity that we feel in our minds, God shall free us, He shall free us. There shall be none that shall be known as slaves who are abiding in His righteousness, there shall be none that are known as hostages who abide in His reconciliation. And we know this, for the Lord our God sent unto us deliverance through Christ Jesus, His only begotten Son, that whoever shall believe in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.

And there, a Savior, a Savior foretold of even at the time of man’s first disobedience and sin, man’s first fall to the Devil, and to his temptation and to his captivity and his bondage, we were prophesied of that there would come one greater man who would restore us to the love and the perfection that God had originally intended for us. And if we cannot put our hope in this deliverance, the we can put our hope in the deliverance of nothing, because there is nothing that shall forever give us that triumph that we so desire and we so long for. But when we put our hope in this, when we put our trust in this blessed assurance from the Lord, it is there that we know though that if this is the power of the Lord our God, if this is the power of the Lord God Almighty, then how much more authority does He wield, how much more power does He wield amidst this world and the powers that are in it? For we read in the words of the Psalmist that He heals the brokenhearted, that He provides for the needy, we read in the words of Christ Jesus that He heals the sick. We read in the words of the Apostles and the Disciples that His Spirit is the Spirit of Liberty, a Spirit of Freedom. And what a wondrous and glorious blessing that is.

Trust therefore, trust therefore in the promises that the Lord has given, even as your spirit feels that it is in the midst of despair, even as it feels that you have lost hope, even as it feels that something is disquieted within you, and you cry out, you long out for the mercy of the Lord, for the peace of the Lord that transcends all understanding, for there you shall know that He shall be beside your side, and as He said to the Psalmist so He says to us, His rod and His staff shall comfort us as He leads us down the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. This is our faithful assurance, this is our faithful promise, and in all things we shall build our hope upon this for He can break even the strongest bonds of captivity, even the strongest of bondage that so envelops our lives.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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